German researchers have found that the longer a bottle of water sits on a store shelf or in a household pantry, the higher the dose of antimony it contains. Amounts of this potentially toxic trace element were measured for 15 brands of Canadian bottled water and 48 European brands. Concentrations reached more than 100 times the average level of antimony in pristine groundwater (2 parts per trillion).
However, the concentration was even higher after the bottles were left to sit at room temperature for six months. Antimony concentrations in the Canadian bottled waters increased by 19 percent, concentrations in the European brands increased by 90 percent.
Most of the water tested was packaged in bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Antimony trioxide is used as a catalyst in the manufacture of PET. The different concentrations of antimony in the various brands might have been caused by differing temperatures, water pHs, or exposure to sunlight.
January 24, 2007 Environmental Science & Technology Online
Dr Mercola’s Comment
If you’ve switched to bottled water as your primary fluid and have stopped drinking sodas, then jump up for joy and rejoice as this is one of the most important single steps you can take to achieve physical health.
High fructose corn syrup in regular sodas is currently the number one source of calories for Americans, so eliminating it will go a long way toward improving your health. Artificial sweeteners in diet sodas are even more pernicious.
However, if you’ve switched to bottled water in hopes of avoiding the perils of drinking unfiltered tap water, you have some fine-tuning to do. You will want to seriously consider other options as you probably don’t want to increase your intake of the potentially toxic metal antimony.
Additionally, most bottled water products are packaged in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) containers. When at all possible, I avoid plastic bottles; I bring my water to my office with me in a glass container, as that is better.
Another important reason to avoid plastic water bottles is the fact that our
overuse of them is pushing the health of planet earth in the wrong direction.
If you want to make sure your water is safe, I recommend using a reverse osmosis filter, which enables you to rely on your own well or municipal source for safe, clean water and give up bottles for good.
On Vital Votes, reader Sean from Sligo, Ireland says:
“Another difficulty linked with bottled water is the fact that it has gradually educated us into a certain belief … namely that it is okay for someone to ‘own’ water and then sell it to us. Which in turn has made us an easily convinced public when governments turn around and hand ownership of water to private corporations.
“No fanfare when they do this because they don’t want to draw our attention to what’s going on. No protests from us when we learn about this because we’re all accustomed to the notion that someone, somewhere owns water and can therefore charge us for it. And of course with the fluoride in it and our air we’re just that bit more docile anyhow!
“Isn’t it a bit of a coincidence that Governments are handing over water rights to private companies who will charge us for water and pay taxes on each sale to our Governments?? Isn’t it a bit of coincidence that that kind of thing would help redress tax revenue income lost when we all start driving cars on water that cost us nothing??
“But no … no, they’d never … no, the authorities are on our side … they’re our friends … they’re not friends with the oil companies … they’d never prioritize the interests of their tax coffers and the profit margins of oil companies over citizen’s rights to drive around using a freely available eco-friendly fuel … no, they wouldn’t… nah, never … that’s not their style … is it?!”